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MadsGustaf

Help getting started with physics..

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I'm trying to build a game that basically is just a 2d platformer, which relies heavenly on simple "solid body physics"(squares, rectangles). Basically what the "Box2d lite" has to offer, seems just what i am looking for (judging from the demo simulation that comes with it Clicky ). However, looking through the source code seems extremely overwhelming, and many of the phrases such as Joint and Arbiter is very unfamiliar to me. Looking through the code for the specific examples does not really help on my understanding either. I don't have any experience simulating objects on the computer, so i am a little lost, and probably need a book or two to introduce me, which is why i just bought "Game Physics" - David H. Eberly (Clicky ) and "Physics for Game Developers" - David M. Bourg (O'REILLY) (Clicky Having quickly looked through both books,the "Game Physics" book seems very theoretical with little or no examples, so it may not be the ideal choice for someone just starting out with physics, and whom learns best by seeing it in practice, and the "Physics for Game Developers" seems to be more focused on projectiles and acceleration (Perhaps thats what i should start learning?) than directly simulating rigid bodies, so it seems i made a very bad deal buying these books (for now). Would there be any resources on the Internet/books that could help me get starting on understanding the physics behind simulating simple objects? I am using C++. OpenGL/SDL is prefered :)

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Hi!

Simple physics are the physics of projectile :) That's a good way to start.
Those books are great I think. But if you use a physic engine (like box2d), things will be easier for you.
So it depends how far you want to learn about physics. I think that most tutorial are either very theorical, or are stick to a particular physics engine (ode, havok etc).
The manual page on box2d seems to be a good starting point (maybe you've read it already?)

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At this point in time i have no ambitions to build a physics engine, however, i believe i have to have a basic understanding of simulating physics, before i can use most of the physics engines out there, which basically is why i bought the books. To understand the engines, so i can use them.

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The thesis linked here: http://www.digitalrune.com/KnowledgeBase/Overview/tabid/471/Default.aspx provides a pretty good overview of rigid body physics. I wouldn't bother buying those books if you don't plan to write any physics code. Just read the docs of the engine and look at examples. Of course, a high school amount of knowledge on physics will be needed to use anything.

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